China and Russia Agree Not To Hack One Another

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Russia has been looking to tighten its technology and security ties to China in the wake of deteriorating relations with the US

China and Russia have signed an agreement not to launch cyber-attacks against one another, a deal intended to pave the way for closer cooperation in the areas of law enforcement and information technology.

The 12-page, Russian-language document posted on the Russian government’s website commits the two countries to refrain from cyber-attacks against one another, and to cooperate on counteracting technology that may “destabilize the internal political and socio-economic atmosphere,” ”disturb public order” or “interfere with the internal affairs of the state”. The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal.

Russian special forces © Darren Baker, Shutterstock 2012

Technology exchange

The two countries agreed to exchange information between law-enforcement agencies, exchange technologies and help one another ensure IT security, according to the document.

Russia has looked to build closer ties to China amidst criticism from the US over its role in the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine. Russia and China are currently carrying out their first joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean, and China has invited Russia to send troops to march in a parade in September commemorating the end of the second world war.

Russia is also looking to relocate key infrastructure into Russia from abroad with a new law that will oblige companies who collect data on Russian citizens to use databases located within the Russian Federation.

The US earlier this month sent a cyber-security mission to Poland and Romania seeking ways to bolster the cyber defences of the countries against the threat of cyber attacks from Russia, which, meanwhile, was reportedly behind a hack on White House computer systems last year.

Internet control

Meanwhile, both countries are looking to impose greater controls over the Internet within their own countries. Russian lawmakers campaigned for tighter controls following the revelations of US cyber-espionage practices in recent months, while China last week proposed an update to its national security law that would crack down on network attacks and the onlne dissemination of material deemed harmful.

China has long championed the development of technologies developed within the country that would help reduce its dependence upon infrastructure controlled by the West.

“Given how a significant amount of hacking is believed to emanate from Russia and China, it would not be hard to imagine that the agreement will only increase the two nations’ capabilities in that area,” wrote Sophos Security’s Lee Munson in a research note.

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